Training 20 hours each week, Indro’s Lori Hefford is flying through the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics national levels.
Lori, a high-achieving student in Year 10 at Indooroopilly State High School, has been building her gymnastics skills since she was six. She says her biggest achievement in gymnastics so far is becoming the Queensland State Level 4 Champion in 2016.
“I like how gymnastics pushes me to be my best,” says Lori, 15.
“Every training session I have to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone, which makes my achievements feel even better because I have had to work so hard for them. The skills are fun once you finally master them.
“I like being able to critique my performances and track my progress towards goals.”
Artistic gymnastics requires mastery of four apparatus: vault, uneven bars, beam and floor.
After winning the Level 4 competition, Lori then skipped through Level 5, trained at Level 6 and is currently competing at a Level 8 standard, while practising her Level 9 skills.
In late June, Lori and her team represented Queensland in the Level 8 Border Challenge in Caloundra. Competing against some strong rival clubs, Lori and her team won the competition.
Lori also competed as an individual, placing second overall and scoring her personal best when performing a vault.
Her intense training regime has her training five days a week for several hours after school on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and then again on Saturday afternoons.
“My training consists of strength work, flexibility, skill development and routines during the competition season. I train through the school holidays as well,” Lori says.
“I only get a few weeks off each year but I don’t mind because I love the sport.
“My main goal in gymnastics is to reach Level 10 and compete as a Level 10 gymnast. However, I would also like to compete individually at Nationals for Level 8, 9 or 10.
“Eventually, I would like to compete internationally, but that will depend on whether I stay injury free and progress through the levels quickly enough.”
When Lori has free time outside of her gymnastics and school commitments, she likes to read, watch TV or do some baking.